Emily Rosen '15 just wrapped up her four-year Hamilton College volleyball career on Nov. 7 at the NESCAC championship quarterfinals. Emily is a three-time member of the NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team and majors in psychology. She recorded 680 digs in 283 career sets as a defensive specialist.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about where you grew up?
A. I grew up in Beverly Hills, California, which is a small town within Los Angeles.  People always ask me how far I live from Los Angeles but I’m basically within Los Angeles! It’s fun living in a city and trying new restaurants. I attended Beverly Hills High School, which had 2,500 students.

Q. How did you become interested in volleyball?
A. At age 5, I started playing soccer, t-ball and basketball while following in my sister’s footsteps. I played the same position as my sister in all three sports and she was my role model. When she started high school, she tried out for the volleyball team and of course, I followed in her footsteps again and tried out for volleyball in ninth grade. I played the same position as my sister in volleyball and when she graduated, I took over her spot on the varsity. We never got to play on the same team.

Q. Why did you choose to attend Hamilton?
A. I knew I wanted a small liberal arts school where I could play volleyball, so I applied to about 15 Hamilton-like schools, including Hamilton. After I was accepted, I visited Hamilton and thought I would cross it off my list as a no. However, after my campus visit, I went home and met with my college counselor and supposedly I used the word “love” to describe Hamilton. My college counselor pointed out my use of the word “love” and after much thought, I decided to attend Hamilton. I was especially attracted to the no-core curriculum. I wanted to take classes that I was truly interested in rather than just filling a requirement.

Q. What position do you play and what are your responsibilities on the court?
A. I am a defensive specialist, so I only play in the back row (hence, my height).  When I rotate to the front row, a hitter will sub in for me and vice versa. As a defensive specialist, I mainly focus on serve-receive and defense.

Q. This year you helped lead the team to its first postseason appearance since 2000. Was there a moment during the season that made you realize this was going to be the year?
A. Every year during preseason, we’ll do a team-bonding night in the Glen. This year we shared stories about “how we fell in love with volleyball” and there, in the Glen, it all clicked. There were such good vibes amongst all the players and so much positivity. We had a strong freshmen class and I knew everything and everyone would mesh really well.

Q. What was the NESCAC Championship experience like at Tufts?
A. At Tufts we played in their second gym, which was pretty small and crowded.  We played Williams, seeded second in the tournament, and we were seeded seventh. Obviously, Williams was favored to win. However, we took Williams to five sets and lost 15-12 in the fifth set. The energy and emotions going on in the gym are unforgettable. All the other NESCAC teams and coaches were cheering us on and everyone seemed so proud of us. We executed our game plan and everything we worked on in practice the previous week carried over to the match.  Although we lost, it was a great way to end my volleyball career and I’ve been replaying the match in my head ever since.

Q. What is your favorite Hamilton volleyball memory?
A. Beating Trinity this year on their home court. The match went to five sets with a final score of 15-13 in the fifth. The win clinched our spot in the NESCAC championship.

Q. Where is your go-to place for studying?
A. I love doing work in Opus 1 but I actually don’t study there often. The music can be distracting but I still love the atmosphere and the vibe.

Q. What has been the most interesting part of your major so far?
A. I’m very interested in my senior thesis, and I can’t wait to run participants in the lab next semester and (hopefully) get statistically significant results!

Q. What was your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
A. I loved Literature and the Environment with Professor Oerlemans. The class was out of my comfort zone but I still really enjoyed the class. Some of our assignments included blog entries where we connected our reading to a special place on campus. These assignments made me explore campus and find my special niches.

Q. Which academic/extra-curricular/community service project that you have been a part of has been the most rewarding? Why?
A. I love being part of Hillel and planning the Jewish Holidays and weekly Shabbats.  I have so many great memories of holidays and Shabbats with my family, so when I attend these events, I feel a piece of home and my family.

Q. What is something most people don't know about you?
A. I have a keen sense of smell and as a result, I love perfume. My keen sense of smell can be a disadvantage after a sweaty, intense match.

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